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IFC INVESTS TO BOOST RUSSIAN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM


Afshin Molavi
Phone: (202) 458-5674

Fax: (202) 974-4384

E-mail: amolavi@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2001 -- In a project aimed at supporting Russian health care reform efforts, the International Finance Corporation is investing US$2.1 million to help establish a high-quality medical center in St. Petersburg.

The $9 million project, led by the Finnish medical company Scanfert Oy, will be a one-stop facility for most preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services.  The planned New Medical Center (NMC) will focus on many different kinds of outpatient services and will include a small inpatient unit, a 24-hour emergency room, and a comprehensive diagnostic department.


The investment will create a model for other Russian health care institutions by introducing high-quality professional management and demonstrating long-term commitment to patient satisfaction and evidence-based clinical practice, said Mr. Karl Voltaire, IFC Director for health and education projects.  IFC and its partners will be tapping into a potentially large market for high quality private facilities in Russia that would ease the public burden and raise international investor awareness about the growing private health care sector, he added.


Scanfert Oy, which operates medical facilities in Finland and Portugal, under the brand name AVA-Clinic, already owns and operates a succesful health care clinic in St. Petersburg using the same name.  Another Finnish company, Tohtoritalo Oy, will be both an investor and the main technical partner for NMC.


Dr. Ralph Ashorn, Managing Director of Scanfert and Chairman of the Board of NMC said the new facility would share medical expertise with St. Petersburg’s health care community by offering specialized courses for medical and nursing professionals from other private and public facilities in the St. Petersburg region.


The project – IFC’s first investment in the Russian health care sector – is designed to promote the private sector role in the Russian health care system and to contribute to the sustainable improvement of health care performance by transferring the most current medical technology and knowledge, improving access to and
the quality of services, and encouraging investment in the emerging private health care sector in Russia.

NMC is also supported by an investment from RESO-Garantia, a well-known Russian universal insurance company and a key player in the growing private health insurance market in St. Petersburg.


The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.